Recycling your Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Recycling and Disposal

by Michelle Wallace

This year when the holiday season comes to a close, plan to give your Christmas tree back to the earth by having it recycled. Christmas trees that have been properly prepared for disposal will be shredded up and used as mulch and compost.  In order to recycle a Christmas tree make sure to remove all ornaments, tinsel, lights, hardware and stand.  Christmas trees that have been sprayed with artificial snow will not be accepted for recycling.  If the tree is taller than 5’, you will need to cut it in half. Christmas trees should not be placed in the garbage with the rest of the trash, but placed on the curb side along with yard waste for recycling.  Check your local paper for listed times and dates for Christmas tree removal and pick up.

If there isn’t a Christmas tree recycling program in your area you do have some options for recycling and disposing of your tree.  Properly prepared Christmas trees can be: 1) Submerged into a private fish pond.  The tree becomes a fish and feeding refuge.  2)  The Christmas tree can be placed in the garden, and used as a bird feeder and refuge.  Eventually the tree will become brittle, and then can be taken apart and chipped into mulch. 3) The Christmas tree can be used as a soil erosion control barrier in a river bed.

Please remember that Christmas trees should not be burned in a fireplace or wood stove.  Doing so will cause the build up of creosote.  Creosote build up reduces the efficiency of your fireplace and is also highly flammable and therefore a potential fire hazard.

Recycling your Christmas tree will help to improve the soil and environment, provide wonderful smelling mulch, and substantially reduce the amount of waste entering the landfill.